question

thtruck avatar image
thtruck asked

Which brand automatic starting generator icm cerbo gx?

Are there particulary brands of automaticly starting gensets which work flawlessly with the cerbo automatic switch on/of/automatic relay?

I am looking for a generator in de range of 5 kw-10 kw.

Please some advice or directions.

Thanks in advance.

cerbo gxGenerator
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3 Answers
jwfrary avatar image
jwfrary answered ·

Deep Sea Electronics controllers work well and are very customizable, programme via USB

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thtruck avatar image
thtruck answered ·

Thanks. Maybe i wasn't clear enough but i am looking for a generator which i can switch with the cerbo. Maybe i need also what you are suggesting. I was under the impression that a cerbo only could switch on/of a electric starting generator already. I really have no clue if that is true or not.

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Kevin Windrem avatar image
Kevin Windrem answered ·

Victron offers contact closure control of a generator: close to run, open to stop. GX devices (Cerbo, etc.) have this relay and a sophisticated automatic control for the generator. The Multi/Quatro line also has a generator run/stop relay output but with less sophisticated logic. Most generators with automatic start can be adapted to use this relay interface. Some generators expect separate close to start and close to stop inputs which can be created with pulse generators that detect the GX generator close to run/open to stop relay output.

The GX device logic can also apply to Fischer-Panda generators that connect via CANbus. This interface provides generator status in the GX device Device List as well.

Besides generator control, you need an automatic changeover switch for the AC input to the Multi/Quatro. Quatros have this built in but the Multis do not. Standalone automatic changeovers, or those controlled by a third party generator control such as the DSE ones mentioned above can work but the Multi has no knowledge of the actual AC input source. This can be problematic if the grid and generator power specs are different.

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Thank you very much for your detailed information. I have a multiplus 24/3000/70. So i have to place a changeover before ac1 input goes into the multiplus? But that is indeed also the grid input(and output for the ess feeding back excess solarpower) and it could be difficult to get a good working automaticly switching on/of generator or even that it won't work because of different voltages coming from the grid and generator? Now i have a not automaticly starting generator and i use the same ac1 for both separately, grid or (not together) generator, and that works good. If we just forget the grid input and concentrate only on an offgrid situation with an automaticly starting generator on ac1 what would be the issue with the multiplus accepting the generator? The only thing i want is to start the generator automatically and the multiplus accepting its power. Why would it not accept that generator while mine now not automaticly starting generator works fine with the mp? I do not want to switch on the generator with the multiplus but with the cerbo.

And do i understand it well that a Fisher-Panda generator can work directly with the cerbo without any other devices?

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ESS with grid feed-in and a grid/generator transfer switch at the AC input of the Multi is problematic since the ESS logic might try to feed energy into the generator. The Multi has no knowledge of what is feeding the AC input other than what's programed in Cerbo for the AC 1 input. So switching between grid and generator must also require reprogramming the AC 1 input type and probably the input current limit.

There is no input to Cerbo to notify it of the state of an external transfer switch and no logic to do the necessary changes. That's not to say it's impossible, just that additional logic needs to be added to Venus OS and/or an external process which then can control Venus OS. Venus OS "large" provides integration for such things via Node Red. Code somewhere needs to be written.

As far as a generator connected directly to the AC input (no transfer switch), there is no reason the Multi wouldn't accept the generator's AC output as long as the voltage and frequency are stable enough for the Multi to sync it's output to that input. Without being in sync (frequency, phase and voltage), the input relay can't be closed.

There is a detailed discussion of the Fischer Panda generator interface here, including the necessary bits and pieces:

https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ccgx:fischer_panda

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Thanks again. As long as the multiplus is gridtied there is no need for an generator so the switch will always be in an offgrid situation. If the multi will accept the generator all i need is a way to let the cerbo switch that generator. I've looked into fischer panda online but those seem to be very expensive. Way too expensive for me for that purpose. There must be other generators who will work with the cerbo aren't there? What does a generator minimally need to be or have to work with the cerbo?

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Pretty much any generator that has an automatic start system can be used with Cerbo's excellent generator control logic

Here's a discussion of that system:

https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/Cerbo_GX/en/gx---generator-auto-start-stop.html

Here is some info regarding choice of generators and sizing:

https://www.victronenergy.com/live/multiplus_faq

There's also lots of discussion about using a generator in a system configured for ESS:

https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/Energy_Storage_System/en/ess-introduction---features.html

https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ve.bus:grid-codes-and-loss-of-mains-detection

And finally how to interface to some generator start systems.

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Automatic_Generator_start-stop/Automatic_Generator_start_stop-en.pdf

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Thank you so much. I will dive into it :)
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